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Overhaul of state building due for completion in 2016

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Question: Aren’t there any plans to use the Princess Victoria Kamamalu Building at the corner of King and Richards streets? It is getting to be an eyesore for us bus riders as we pass by.

Answer: There have been many plans to renovate and reopen the state-owned building since it was vacated by the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs 10 years ago.

If all goes according to current plans, employees of the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services will move into the building in 2016.

The Department of Accounting and General Services hopes to begin work on the $32.9 million project by August 2014 and complete it by February 2016, said spokesman R.J. Yahiku.

Work will include removing asbestos, repairing electrical and plumbing systems, repairing infrastructure and following energy and design standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

When we first asked about the vacant building in 2003, we were told it needed to be gutted and rebuilt.

In 2007, $14 million finally had been set aside for repairs. However, that sum turned out to be far short of what was needed because the condition of the building was far worse than initially thought. (See

Question: Auwe to organizers of the Tinman Triathlon, held on July 28. As a courtesy to residents along the Kalanianaole Highway corridor, where there is no alternate route for egress and ingress, can’t they choose a race route where there is less impact on residents? It took drivers almost 30 minutes to move one block to Kalanianaole Highway and that was with a policeman directing traffic.

Answer: After more than three decades, there apparently are no plans to change the route for now.

But spokeswoman Olga Caldwell said “every effort possible (is made) not to inconvenience residents along the route and we appreciate the community for its understanding and support for the last 33 years.”

Seven hundred people participated in the 33rd Tinman Triathlon, supported by 300 volunteers and

120 off-duty police officers along the race course, she said.

The No. 1 priority is the safety of the participants, especially during the cycling segment when riders share the roads with motor vehicles, she said.

While riders are on the course, police officers decide when to allow vehicles to cross intersections along Kalanianaole Highway, as well as other roads, she said. “Their decision is based on safety for both the cyclists as well as motor vehicle drivers.”

Also to ensure safety, in addition to providing information to the news media, Caldwell said race organizers posted two lighted message boards along Kalanianaole on the Thursday before the race: the eastbound board by Maunalua Bay and the westbound board on the Ewa side of the Kealahou Street intersection.

Both boards read “Tinman Triathlon/Sunday 7/28/13 6 AM to 10 AM/Kal Hwy Closed.” But all cyclists were off Kalanianaole by 8:15 a.m. and all traffic cones were picked up by 8:30 a.m., Caldwell said.

“The Tinman Triathlon challenges and inspires all participants and offers them safety, fun and pride,” she said. “It is not meant to be an ‘elite’ race, but a triathlon for every interested athlete, which could be your neighbor, uncle or mother.”


To the ladies and a gentleman who came to my husband’s aid when he fell in the parking lot at Windward Mall in July. You called me and stayed with him until I arrived. Your caring and kindness is very much appreciated. Thanks also to security personnel for checking and being there. Tom is fine. It’s comforting to know there are those who truly care and are there when you need them.

— Grateful Seniors

Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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